There’s nothing worse than going through the effort of meal prepping on a Sunday afternoon only to realize you have no space in your fridge for any of that Tupperware. Here’s the thing, though: There’s a decent chance you have foods in your fridge taking up valuable real estate that really belong elsewhere in your kitchen.
Logically, it might seem like the fridge would keep any food from spoiling, but in reality, some foods just don’t thrive in colder conditions. The cold temps could affect their nutrient levels, taste, or shelf life. Here are foods you should never store in the fridge:
Melon: Storing whole honeydew or cantaloupe at room temperature will keep maintain the melons’ antioxidants levels more than refrigerating them. Of course, once you cut into the melon, keep it in a covered container in the fridge.
Tomatoes: This fruit-that-thinks-it’s-a-veggie becomes mushy and loses flavor in the fridge. Store your tomatoes on the counter until you’re ready to make that pico de gallo.
Peaches: There’s no need to chill these. However, if they’re getting too ripe and you can’t eat them fast enough, move them to the fridge to prevent them from spoiling (and keep away those fruit flies).
Apples: These don’t need the chill, either, and they may stay more crisp in room temperatures. Why not keep these in a fruit bowl on the counter? You may be more enticed to snack on one (instead of grabbing the chips) if they’re out in the open.
Potatoes: Putting spuds in the fridge is a major no-no. Potatoes become gritty in colder temperatures. Keep them in a dark and cool place—and away from the onions. If stored too closely together, potatoes and onions will encourage each other to spoil.
Garlic: Keep these cloves on the counter. If you don’t use the entire head of garlic within 10 days, you can actually move these cloves to the freezer to extend their lives. (FYI, frozen garlic is perfect for making homemade stock for soups.)
Avocado: Everyone’s favorite taco topping may have a short window of perfect ripeness, but that doesn’t mean it should go in the fridge. Your avocados will never ripen in the fridge, and you’ll be stuck with a rock-hard avocado for way too long. Keep that avocado on the counter. But if it becomes ripe and you’re not ready to use it, feel free to refrigerate it to preventing it from spoiling. (Here’s how to grocery shop for ripe avocados in the first place.)
Onion: Keep these in a cool dark place, like a cupboard. In the fridge, onions become mushy. Yuck.
Coffee: The fridge creates too much moisture for coffee beans, which can cause them to change in flavor. Coffee beans are perfect when stored in the pantry, and it’s best to grind them in small batches because they lose their flavor quickly after grinding. (Got old coffee? Repurpose it by making this DIY coffee scrub for the body.)
Basil: This might be counterintuitive, but cool temperatures can cause basil to wilt. Store your basil in a vase with water on the counter, as if it were a fresh bouquet of flowers.
Bread: Your loaf of bread is best kept on the counter (or in a bread box if you’re fancy like that) and away from heat. In other words, don’t place your bread right next to the stove or toaster. However, if your bread is close to losin